Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ramya's Recipe Series - Bottle gourd Kofta

Bottle Gourd Kofta

Thanks to Aveek's mom!

For Kofta
  1. Bottle gourd- 1 grated
  2. Ajwain- 2 tea spoons
  3. Jeera powder- 4 teaspoons
  4. Chillies- 2 finely chopped
  5. Besan- 4 teaspoons
  6. Salt- To taste
  7. Oil- For frying
For Gravy
  1. Tomato- 4
  2. Onions- 4
  3. Cinnamon, Clove, Cardamom- 2 each
  4. Chillie powder- 3 teaspoons
  5. Salt - To taste
  6. Oil- 3-5 teaspoons
For Kofta
  1. Squeeze out all the water from the grated bottle gourd
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients and make into balls 
  3. Deep fry the balls and set aside

For Gravy
  1. Cut the onion and tomatoes
  2. Grind the tomatoes and onions separately
  3. In a pan add oil and add the Cinnamon, clove and cardamom.
  4. Add the onion paste and saute till golden brown
  5. Add tomato paste and saute till the raw smell goes
  6. Add salt and chilli powder.
  7. Switch off the flame once the oil begins to separate.
Add the koftas to the gravy and enjoy.
  1. Green chillies can be avoided in the kofta if you don't prefer hot koftas
  2. Instead of Cinnamon, clove and cardamom you can use garam masals powder(3 teaspoons), do not add chillie powder if you ar eusing garam masala powder.
  3. If you like it spicy increase the garam masala powder.

More posts from Ramya's Recipe Series

Friday, January 20, 2012

Prakruti's Crow Story

When my daughter is asked for a story, she tells the story of a crow.

  1. A crow went up and sat on a tree.
  2. It sang a song but fell down. 
  3. It got hurt on its head and went home.
  4. Its mother applied medicine on its head and so, it recovered quickly. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ramya's Recipe Series - Microwave Banana & Dry Fruits Bread - Eggless

I will be starting with a dessert/snack first! This is an Eggless Banana Bread (with optional dry fruits). I learnt this from a cousin, with few of my own additions/improvements. 

The main ingredients... 
  • Maida - 2 cups
  • Powdered Sugar - 2/3rd cup
  • Oil - 1/4th cup
  • Baking Soda- 1/4th tea spoon
  • Over-ripe Bananas - 2
Optional Ingredients:
  • Dry Fruits: Powdered walnuts, Almonds, Cashew - 1/2 cup, Raisins- 15
  1. Pre-heat the microwave at 180C in the convection mode. 
  2. Sieve the maida, powdered sugar and baking soda. Mash the over ripe bananas and add them. Then add oil, powdered dry fruits,raisins and mix well. 
  3. Now, coat an aluminium tray with crystallized ghee. Add the mixture and bake in the microwave in the convection mode at 180C for 1 hour.
  4. After 1 hour, allow the bread to cool. Slice it and enjoy

  • Use over ripe bananas, it gives the best taste.
  • Banana can be substituted with grated apple
  • Sugar can be reduced to 1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet bread
  • For diabetics, sugar can be substituted with equal quantity of Sugar-Free/ Equal powder. Also, use apple instead of banana.
  • Powdered dry fruits add taste and flavor.
  • Coating the tray with crystallized ghee gives best result. If that is not available, butter can be used.

More posts from Ramya's Recipe Series

Ramya's Recipe Series

Ramya has been experimenting with different recipes and I have been the guinea pig. Generally, they have been good and I love the new stuff she makes. So, we thought she should start posting her recipes too. Her first post coming up soon....
More posts from Ramya's Recipe Series

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another short story for my 2 year old daughter - how her day passes...

I started a series of short stories that I tell for our daughter before she goes to sleep.
She has started play-school since November 2011. So, one story that we tell her is how her day passes...
1. Mother wakes her up at 7.30AM, brushes her teeth and makes her drink milk.
2. Father gives her a bath, and hands her over to mother to put her into her school uniform.
3. Mother give her breakfast
4. Father drops her in school at 9AM by car.
5. Mother goes to school at 12PM by walk, picks her up and comes back either walking or by an auto.
6. Grandmother gives her lunch and puts her to her noon nap.
7. Father picks her up from Grandmother's house and brings her back to her house
8. She plays, eats dinner and goes to sleep!

Other Kids stories in this blog

Monday, January 09, 2012

Short stories for my 2-year old daughter

My 2 year old daughter keeps asking me for new stories every night before going to bed. I have used up most of the kid stories that I remember, and now have started inventing my own stories based on other stories that I read. She has been listening to my adaptations of Tintin, especially Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon.

My stories are really a set of statements, mostly less than 10 and simple. She really enjoys these stories and sometimes repeats to me/her mother. My latest story is inspired from Tom & Jerry, and the Lion & Mouse story.
1. Tom is chasing Jerry because he is hungry.
2. After running around for some time, Tom manages to catch Jerry.
3. Jerry begs to leave him, and offers a piece of cheese that he has at his home.
4. Tom agrees, and follows Jerry to his house.
5. Tom sees that Jerry has a small kid.
6. Tom is a nice cat, so he lets Jerry go and asks him to give the cheese to his kid rather.

My daughter really enjoys this story - especially since she likes cats and cheese :)

Other Kids stories in this blog

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Laziness and Task Management

Managing my tasks has been one of the most difficult tasks! After a lot of advice from family and friends, I have started maintaining a single list of all my tasks. When I was using a single laptop with MS Outlook, I used the inbuilt task list. Now that I no longer have Outlook on my laptop (I work for IBM, and we use Lotus Notes as our email tool), I was looking for a better tool (preferably on the web). I didn't like the Lotus Notes version of task management, primarily because launching Lotus Notes is a task in itself (with a start date and end date) :)
I was therefore trying out a variety of tools on the web.

Gmail Tasks
I started with Gmail Tasks. This was great because, it was integrated into Gmail. I liked it also because I didn't have to do much in terms of clicking; tasks and subtasks could be created using just the keyboard. However, I wanted slightly more detailed options - especially for reminders, start date, due date, and the UI was not so intuitive for that.
I then tried TaskAnt. I liked it, but, the UI was too detailed. Needed something more simplistic. 
Next was TeuxDeux. This was just the opposite of TaskAnt. I really liked the minimalist interface. Just the way you use a diary - a day-by-day view of your tasks. You could move your tasks across dates with simple drag-drop operations. The problem was that it was too minimalistic: no reminders, no sync with GCal, etc. 
I then tried TodoLy. This seemed to be good. Everything that I wanted: some detail, reminders, etc.. But, I had trouble synchronizing. It used to always revert to the default list of example tasks. This was not a great example for a good intuitive UI.
Finally, I found what I wanted: I Do It. This works great. Email/GCal integration, ability to categorize by projects, contexts and tags. Good reminder system, and synchronizes quite quickly. It also has a desktop version, and desktop shortcuts that help me quickly add tasks without loading the webpage. Hopefully will stick onto this for sometime

However, I was just researching about other tools today and I found another one: Producteev. Seems to be good, will start trying it out now. More research about this on the way.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Year Resolutions & Douglas Adams

I have been a great fan of Douglas Adams ever since I started reading his "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" six-book trilogy! I was such a crazy fan of the book that I had an index of my favourite parts of the book. I used to participate in online quizzes, conduct quizzes and post in online forums, and such... I have re-read the book an uncountable number of times - focusing specifically on the indexed pages. I recently listened to the audio versions of the book. Found some parts much more interesting than while reading. I also inspired quite a few friends to start reading his books. Whenever anybody asks me for book suggestions, that is the first book I suggest.

Recently, I listened to his posthumous book - "The Salmon of Doubt". This book is a collection of previously published and unpublished material, mostly content from interviews, introductions to his books, his views on technology, and god (he was a faithful atheist). I am now reading the paper book now.

One of the topics in this book is about his thoughts on celebrating the New Year (the New Millennium rather, since it was written in 1999). How, it is just another excuse to celebrate and has no other significant significance! Exactly, what are we celebrating it for, a change in the digits of the year?

Another thing he talks about is about New Year Resolutions which I completely agree with. Every end of year/beginning of the new year, we write down our resolutions on a piece of paper (I tried writing on it on an online document editor - Yahoo Notebook, then Google Notebook, recently Google Docs) only to forget where we wrote it until it is time for the next new year resolutions!

Only one New Year Resolution for me this year: No new year resolutions this year!!

Happy New Year 2012!